Janelle Monáe says a series of paintings she made on tour gave birth to the concept for her forthcoming second studio album, "The Electric Lady."
"I would paint and I would sing at the same time, and every night I painted this female silhouette... for like three, four months in a row," Monáe told Billboard during a recent "listening experience" stop to preview the album in suburban Detroit.
"I didn't understand back then why I was doing it, so I went home to Atlanta, Georgia, and I talked to my therapist and she said, 'You know what? You should probably name the series... And I was like, 'OK,' so I tried to come up with all these words, all the adjectives to describe the paintings... and the words that come to my ear were 'The Electric Lady,' and I started to think of a world where there were more electric ladies, there was a new breed of women. I was wanting to do something that could be empowering to women... What I wanted to do was create an album that deals with this concept of the Electric Lady and a world where these electric ladies were realizing their super powers and doing self-realization into self-actualization and nurturing the community through their gifts and their unique perspectives on life. That was the thing it really center around, this whole concept of the Electric Lady."